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  1. #1
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    other site/company names in title & tag

    I'm wondering where we're at with this now, since internet law continually evolves - when I search my domain name, a half dozen sites comes up claiming to have in-depth knowledge about it - visitors, profiles, other sites I operate and it goes on.

    They put the domain.com right in the title and sometimes in the tag.

    This thought occurs to me every now and then but right now more than ever as I go on to do reviews of specific companys from my own site, (in-depth, hand written, not auto-generated)

    If I post the company name or domain name as mentioned, not claiming to present myself as them, and I am giving consumers information - is this okay (isn't there a copyright exception for educational/consumer info) ? Would it be rare to get a takedown request for this?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    You are allowed to set up sites reviewing companies and giving out publicly available information. Issues you can face are typically trademark related, such as using their logo or other marks without permission or in some way 'confusing' consumers over your relationship with them. There is probably a fair use argument for using logos and marks in the course of a review, but fair use is a defense, not a legal right, so you could still be dragged into court over it and will have to make your case.

    Copyright only comes into play if you start using, for example, excerpts from their promotional materials/products etc. But again, in the course of a review, you may have argument for fair use.

    Other issues could rise from defamation and libel, especially if your reviews are quite 'cutting' or inaccurate.

    And don't assume you would just get a take down request - there's no actual legal requirement that says they have to do that, they can go straight to litigation. Remember, this is content you are generating yourself, not your visitors, so DMCA safe harbors don't apply.

    This is all obviously worse case stuff. Make sure you have a lawyer on board with you to advise you at the start and to be there for you when you come into any problems.

  3. #3
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    And what if I take a picture of their storefront - is that okay to post if I was the one who took it? No permission is needed for this is it? Of course that would have their company name on it.

    And what if I take a picture of their product? Their name would be on it but I take the photo.
    You don't need permission to take pictures of company products, do you?
    Say if I'm reviewing a motarola phone for example.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by datadriven View Post
    And what if I take a picture of their storefront - is that okay to post if I was the one who took it? No permission is needed for this is it? Of course that would have their company name on it.

    And what if I take a picture of their product? Their name would be on it but I take the photo.
    You don't need permission to take pictures of company products, do you?
    Say if I'm reviewing a motarola phone for example.
    Copyright is not black & white. You can claim fair use but it doesn't mean you'll be granted it and what's the rule today can change tomorrow based on precedent [i.e. the evolution of music infringement]

    I realize this an ambiguous response but it's vital you understand that having a few comments on a forum or even a remark from an attorney does not mean you can put yourself into an untouchable space. Many companies still use cease & desist letters to start conversations rather than the phone. Every product is different and the implications of an iPhone 4s shot is not the same as if you get a 5s shot today.

    For example there's a lot of discussion around pinterest right now and the implications of reposting of images... Smart brands are seeing the upside of sharing & exposure but that doesn't mean everyone does. http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/22/28...power-of-money
    - Ted S


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